Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car is critically losing oil but never depleted entirely when refilled.

asked by on

I'm not sure if it's leaking from the oil pan or if it's leaking from the timing gasket seal, however the car after an oil change will lose nearly all the oil that is put in. The dip stick typically reads that the oil level is below LOW most commonly it stays at the very minimum line. It doesn't leak too much when the engine is active, but over night or when the car is off, there will be an adequate amount of oil under the lower passenger side of vehicle. I briefly inspected it and noticed oil on the exhaust under the car, and oil all over the axel and around components in that region. The pan was covered in oil so I cleaned it with brake cleaner and it hasn't returned to the pan since but it has remained around the seal of the pan. There is also oil on the cover that houses the timing belt but only on the lower portion. Is it my pan, timing seal, or possibly both???

My car has 188000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: It sounds like you may have an oil leak, po...

It sounds like you may have an oil leak, potentially at either the oil pan gasket area or at the lower end of the timing cover. The leak may be more noticeable when the car is not running since the oil (due to gravity) flows back down to the bottom of the pan when sitting. The same is also true for the timing cover since when the car is running the oil is circulated throughout the motor and not sitting in one place. As you know, when the car is in motion and the leak continues, this will cause the oil to be spread all over due to the wind, gravity and oil pressure. A certified YourMechanic technician can come to your location to perform an oil/fluid leak inspection on your vehicle to help you diagnose this issue.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Low oil pressure eventually will stall out. Is the oil pressure sensor connected to the fuel pump relay?

Hello. Your oil pressure sensor should not be connected in any way to the fuel pump relay. These are two separate and distinct functions. I would first recommend checking the oil level to be sure there is enough oil in...

Q: fuel system help

Hi there. There are three items you haven't listed that my be the source of your hard to start issue. First is the crankshaft position sensor. This typically is the leading source of the type of issue you're describing. It...

Q: Car stalls when pressing brake pedal

An experienced technician will be able to determine whether the stalling is directly connected to the application of the brake pedal. The vehicle is equipped with a brake booster which uses engine intake manifold vacuum to offer power assisted braking....

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.